News

The onset of widespread marine red beds and the evolution of ferruginous oceans

Abstract.

"Banded iron formations were a prevalent feature of marine sedimentation ~3.8–1.8 billion years ago and they provide key evidence for ferruginous oceans. The disappearance of banded iron formations at ~1.8 billion years ago was traditionally taken as evidence for the demise of ferruginous oceans, but recent geochemical studies show that ferruginous conditions persisted throughout the later Precambrian, and were even a feature of Phanerozoic ocean anoxic events. [...]"

Source: Nature Communications
Authors: Haijun Song et al.
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-00502-x

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Acid zone in Chesapeake Bay identified

"Zone of water 30 feet below surface is increasing in acidity, threatening shellfish.

A research team, led by University of Delaware professor Wei-Jun Cai, has identified a zone of water that is increasing in acidity in the Chesapeake Bay.

The team analyzed little studied factors that play a role in ocean acidification (OA)--changes in water chemistry that threaten the ability of shellfish such as oysters, clams and scallops to create and maintain their shells, among other impacts."

Source: ErurekAltert!

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Redox reactions and weak buffering capacity lead to acidification in the Chesapeake Bay

Abstract.

"The combined effects of anthropogenic and biological CO2 inputs may lead to more rapid acidification in coastal waters compared to the open ocean. It is less clear, however, how redox reactions would contribute to acidification. Here we report estuarine acidification dynamics based on oxygen, hydrogen sulfide (H2S), pH, dissolved inorganic carbon and total alkalinity data from the Chesapeake Bay, where anthropogenic nutrient inputs have led to eutrophication, hypoxia and anoxia, and low pH. [...]"

Source: Nature Communications
Authors: Wei-Jun Cai
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-00417-7

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The influence of variable slope-water characteristics on dissolved oxygen levels in the northern California Current System

Abstract.

"Observations have suggested a trend of decreasing dissolved oxygen (DO) and increasing spiciness in summertime mid-depth slope waters and bottom shelf waters along the United States west coast over the past 50 years, but they have also demonstrated a large amount of interannual and decadal variability. Shelf bottom water and slope water properties can be influenced by both local and remote effects, including changes in circulation or changes in the characteristics of the source waters supplying the region. [...]"

Source: Oceans
Authors: Scott M. Durski et al.
DOI: 10.1002/2017JC013089

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Uranium isotope evidence for an expansion of marine anoxia during the end-Triassic extinction

Abstract.

"The end-Triassic extinction coincided with an increase in marine black shale deposition and biomarkers for photic zone euxinia, suggesting that anoxia played a role in suppressing marine biodiversity. However, global changes in ocean anoxia are difficult to quantify using proxies for local anoxia. Uranium isotopes (δ238U) in CaCO3 sediments deposited under locally well-oxygenated bottom waters can passively track seawater δ238U, which is sensitive to the global areal extent of seafloor anoxia due to preferential reduction of 238U(VI) relative to 235U(VI) in anoxic marine sediments. [...]"

Source: Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems
Authors: Adam B. Jost et al.
DOI: 10.1002/2017GC006941

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N2 production by the anammox reaction in the anoxic water column of Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica

Abstract.

"In oxygen-depleted zones of the open ocean, and in anoxic basins and fjords, denitrification (the bacterial reduction of nitrate to give N2) is recognized as the only significant process converting fixed nitrogen to gaseous N2. Primary production in the oceans is often limited by the availability of fixed nitrogen such as ammonium or nitrate, and nitrogen-removal processes consequently affect both ecosystem function and global biogeochemical cycles. [...]"

Source: Nature (2003)
Authors: Tage Dalsgaard et al.
DOI: 10.1038/nature01526


Observation of oxygen ventilation into deep waters through targeted deployment of multiple Argo-O2 floats in the north-western Mediterranean Sea

Abstract.

"During the winter 2013, an intense observation and monitoring was performed in the north-western Mediterranean Sea to study deep water formation process that drives thermohaline circulation and biogeochemical processes (HYMEX SOP2 and DEWEX projects). To observe intensively and continuously the impact of deep convection on oxygen (O2) ventilation, an observation strategy was based on the enhancement of the Argo-O2 floats to monitor the offshore dense water formation area (DWF) in the Gulf of Lion prior to and at the end of the convective period (December 2012 to April 2013) [...]"

Source: Oceans (An AGU Journal)
Authors: L.Coppola et al.
DOI: 10.1002/2016JC012594

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Heterogenous oceanic redox conditions through the Ediacaran-Cambrian boundary limited the metazoan zonation

Abstract.

"Recent studies have enhanced our understanding of the linkage of oxygenation and metazoan evolution in Early Cambrian time. However, little of this work has addressed the apparent lag of animal diversification and atmospheric oxygenation during this critical period of Earth history. This study utilizes the geochemical proxy and N isotope record of the Ediacaran–Cambrian boundary preserved in intra-shelf basin, slope, and slope basin deposits of the Yangtze Sea to assess the ocean redox state during the Early Cambrian metazoan radiation. [...]"

Source: Scientific Reports
Authors: Junpeng Zhang, Tailiang Fan, Yuandong Zhang, Gary G. Lash, Yifan Li & Yue Wu
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-07904-3

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Rapid nitrous oxide cycling in the suboxic ocean

Abstract.

"Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a powerful greenhouse gas and a major cause of stratospheric ozone depletion, yet its sources and sinks remain poorly quantified in the oceans. We used isotope tracers to directly measure N2O reduction rates in the eastern tropical North Pacific. Because of incomplete denitrification, N2O cycling rates are an order of magnitude higher than predicted by current models in suboxic regions, and the spatial distribution suggests strong dependence on both organic carbon and dissolved oxygen concentrations. Furthermore, N2O turnover is 20 times higher than the net atmospheric efflux. The rapid rate of this cycling coupled to an expected expansion of suboxic ocean waters implies future increases in N2O emissions. [...]"

Source: Science (2015)
Authors: Andrew R. Babbin, Daniele Bianchi, Amal Jayakumar, Bess B. Ward
DOI:10.1126/science.aaa8380

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Dependence of nitrite oxidation on nitrite and oxygen in low-oxygen seawater

Abstract.

"Nitrite oxidation is an essential step in transformations of fixed nitrogen. The physiology of nitrite oxidizing bacteria (NOB) implies that the rates of nitrite oxidation should be controlled by concentration of their substrate, nitrite, and the terminal electron acceptor, oxygen. The sensitivities of nitrite oxidation to oxygen and nitrite concentrations were investigated using 15N tracer incubations in the Eastern Tropical North Pacific. Nitrite stimulated nitrite oxidation under low in situ nitrite conditions, following Michaelis-Menten kinetics, indicating that nitrite was the limiting substrate. [...]

Source: Geophysical Reasearch Letters
Authors: Xin Sun, Qixing Ji, Amal Jayakumar, Bess B. Ward
DOI: 10.1002/2017GL074355

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